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Publisher's Summary

Featuring the famous Commander Adam Dalgliesh, Devices and Desires is a thrilling and insightfully crafted novel of fallible people caught in a net of secrets, ambitions, and schemes on a lonely stretch of Norfolk coastline.

Commander Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard has just published a new book of poems and has taken a brief respite from publicity on the remote Larksoken headland on the Norfolk coast in a converted windmill left to him by his aunt. But he cannot so easily escape murder.

A psychotic strangler of young women is at large in Norfolk, and getting nearer to Larksoken with every killing. And when Dalgliesh discovers the murdered body of the Acting Administrative Officer on the beach, he finds himself caught up in the passions and dangerous secrets of the headland community and in one of the most baffling murder cases of his career.

©2005 P. D. James (P)2012 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Taut.... Absorbing.... Better than her best." (New York Times Book Review)
"I have often thought of mysteries as the sorbets of literature, something light and tangy to clear the palate between more serious courses. The books of P.D. James, however, are more substantial fare, fulfilling as well as delicious, and Devices and Desires is no exception." (Washington Post Book World)
"A masterful writer.... Devices and Desires seems to be that highly prized work - a terrific tale of suspense and detection that also delivers the satisfaction of a mainstream novel." (Wall Street Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    27
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Interesting Read, Good Performance

I enjoy the English reader, she does a good job with this book. Nice change of pace. The story is the thinking kind of mystery with enough colorful characters and interesting English countryside to hold your interest through a relatively long book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A well wrought mystery

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Possibly, but only after warning said friend of the sub-optimal sound quality and the old-lady narrator, both of which made me give up listening several times before I finally got deep enough into the mystery that I really cared whodunnit.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Adam Dalgleish....and the motherless child, Teresa Blaney.

What aspect of Penelope Dellaporta’s performance would you have changed?

I would have chosen a younger (or at least less old-lady-sounding, less stuffy-sounding) narrator.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Murder on the Headlands

Any additional comments?

The narrator did have good vocal inflection and prosody/expression, which ultimately made the listening experience superior to reading the print version alone (I did both).

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sherri
  • Minnetonka, MN, United States
  • 05-05-12

Another book ruined

Yet another book ruined by an ill-chosen narrator. I usually, always, listen to the preview of the book because the narrator can make or break the book for me. This time I realized instantly that I did not. While Ms. Dallaporta's normal voice can be characterized as 'fingernails on a chalkboard,' when the characters become emotional, she squawks like an hysterical myna bird. Ugh. I made it two-thirds of the way through before I concluded that the victim probably committed suicide to avoid listening to Ms. Dellaporta any longer. Listen only if you have an extremely insensitive ear to unattractive female voices.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Character development rich, unexpected plot twist

As usual, Ms James' Adam Dalgleish does not disappoint. With Adam being more of an observer, this story seems to develop characters that you see and feel their presence. Great plot twist and epilogue.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Adam Dalgliesh is a secondary character

What was most disappointing about P. D. James’s story?

This is as well written as any of her other books, but if you want to watch Adam Dalgliesh solve a case, this book is a little disappointing. He is central to the storyline, but not a central character.

What about Penelope Dellaporta’s performance did you like?

I really enjoy her reading of these books. She does an excellent job.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Plot Ruined by too much introspection

Great plot with great characters. Problem is there isn't a scene without deep philosophic thought or memories.there are also too many long conversations. I like a book that makes me think ,but not one that tells me what to think. I got used to Miss Dellaporta but she's definitely past her prime.P D James is still heads above others writers even with my complaints.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful